JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Lenny Curry, the mayor of Jacksonville, has issued an extended smoke ban Thursday for the River City until June 1.
It was issued in response to the heavy amount of smoke that's spreading across the First Coast due to the West Mims Fire, which is burning more than 143,000 acres primarily in the Okefenokee National Refuge in Georgia. As of Thursday, the fire is only 12 percent contained and half of Charlton County, Ga. has been evacuated.
"The conditions are serious, but this is simply a precaution just as if we had a storm unpredictable hanging off our coast," Curry said.
The ban is extended for any open fires outdoors, such as campfires or firepits. The only exception from the ban is using a grill for cooking.
Curry said if conditions improve before June 1, he would lift the extended ban.